China and Tunisia establish strategic partnership

Tunisian President Kais Saied paid a state visit to China coinciding with the 10th conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, held in Beijing on May 30.

Meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 31, the two leaders jointly announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between their countries.

Noting that China and Tunisia are good friends and brothers, Xi said that over the past 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Tunisia have always respected and supported each other, and treated each other as equals despite international vicissitudes, writing a vivid chapter of developing countries standing together through thick and thin.

Consolidating and developing China-Tunisia relations conforms to the fundamental interests and common expectations of the two peoples, Xi noted, adding that China is willing to work with Tunisia to continue the traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields and push bilateral relations to a new level.

“Today, we announced the establishment of China-Tunisia strategic partnership, which will open up an even brighter future for our relations,” he said.

China is ready to enhance synergy of development strategies with Tunisia, deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction and new energy, foster new growth engines for cooperation in medical and health care, green development, water resources, agriculture and other fields, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries to achieve more results, and China welcomes more high-quality Tunisian products into the Chinese market.

China is willing to continue to send high-calibre medical teams to Tunisia, and to deepen cooperation with Tunisia in education and tourism, and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

Xi urged the two sides to work with countries in the Global South to strengthen solidarity and coordination, practice true multilateralism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation, and achieve common development.

Saied said he is pleased to pay a historic visit to China on the occasion of marking the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and to attend the opening ceremony of the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

Tunisia enjoys profound friendship and fruitful cooperation with China, and the country expects more support from China for its national development and closer cooperation in health, transportation, green development and education, so as to raise bilateral relations to a new level. Every country has the right to independently choose a development path suiting its own national conditions. Tunisia is willing to work with China to uphold the common values of humanity, strengthen unity and coordination, oppose hegemonism and bloc confrontation, and create a more equal and beautiful world, so that people of all countries can enjoy real human rights and freedom, live in harmony, and share peace, security and prosperity.

The previous day, President Saied had met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Li noted that China firmly supports Tunisia in actively exploring a development path with Tunisian characteristics and firmly opposes external interference in Tunisia’s internal affairs.

China is ready to work with Tunisia to deepen practical cooperation guided by high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, make solid progress in key cooperation projects, and expand cooperation in trade and renewable energy. China is ready to work with Tunisia to make every effort to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era and promote the building of a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future, Li added, urging joint efforts from the two sides to strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

On May 31, the Tunisian head of state also met with Zhao Leji, Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

Zhao said that, taking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity, the two sides should make good use of important platforms such as the joint construction of the Belt and Road, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to cultivate new driving forces for bilateral cooperation.

He noted that China and Tunisia are both countries in the Global South, and that they should strengthen their coordination and cooperation on multilateral occasions to promote a more just and equitable global governance system.

Saied said that Tunisia has the unwavering will to develop friendly relations with China. His country adheres to the one-China principle and stands ready to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, thereby opening broader prospects for bilateral relations. 

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

China, Tunisia establish strategic partnership

BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.

The announcement came as Xi held talks with Saied, who is on a state visit to China.

Noting that China and Tunisia are good friends and brothers, Xi said that over the past 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Tunisia have always respected and supported each other, and treated each other as equals despite international vicissitudes, writing a vivid chapter of developing countries standing together through thick and thin.

Consolidating and developing China-Tunisia relations conforms to the fundamental interests and common expectations of the two peoples, Xi noted, adding that China is willing to work with Tunisia to continue the traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields and push bilateral relations to a new level.

“Today, we announced the establishment of China-Tunisia strategic partnership, which will open up an even brighter future for our relations,” he said.

China supports Tunisia in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, independently advancing the reform process, and keeping its future firmly in its own hands, Xi said.

China is ready to enhance synergy of development strategies with Tunisia, deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction and new energy, foster new growth engines for cooperation in medical and health care, green development, water resources, agriculture and other fields, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries to achieve more results, Xi said, welcoming more high-quality Tunisian products into the Chinese market.

China is willing to continue to send high-caliber medical teams to Tunisia, deepen cooperation with Tunisia in education and tourism, and enhance people-to-people exchanges, he added.

Continue reading China and Tunisia establish strategic partnership

Contrasting the US’s severe urban decay with China’s extraordinary infrastructure development

In the following article, originally published in the Morning Star, Roger McKenzie contrasts the economic priorities of the US with those of China.

Reporting from Washington DC and New York City, and reflecting on the recent Friends of Socialist China delegation to China, he compares the level of investment in infrastructure in the two countries. A train journey between DC and NYC “revealed a picture of severe urban decay in supposedly the world’s most important and richest nation” – a reflection of the fact that, in the US, “the government, of any colour, prefers to spend immense amounts of money on the military as opposed to the people.”

The article continues:

The US is visibly decaying economically as well as politically, while China is clearly stable, able to act on behalf of the people and on the way up. The transport infrastructure, road, rail and airport systems in China have undergone a massive upgrades in length and quality over the last decade. This is a sentence you simply can’t apply to the US.

In the five cities I visited during my 10-day visit to China I never saw a single homeless person and felt entirely safe to walk the streets and speak with anyone I wanted. Nobody stopped me from doing any of those things. I never felt the same level of safety in DC — or New York for that matter.

Roger notes that the US could learn a great deal from China. If it were willing to adapt to a multipolar reality and give up on its dream of a New American Century, it could prioritise the needs of its people over those of the military-industrial complex. However, he warns that the current trajectory is towards leveraging the US’s military power to maintain its global dominance, even as its economic power wanes. “The temptation will be for the empire to strike back as its power crumbles. Unfortunately it is something I think we are already seeing in Ukraine and in its attempts to stoke up tensions in the breakaway Chinese province of Taiwan.”

The challenge for the left is therefore to build a powerful mass movement that combines the struggle for socialism at home with the struggle against imperialism and war.

Roger will be among the speakers at the upcoming webinar China proves that a new world is possible! on 16 June.

EMPIRES always end. All of them. The only question is about the nature of that end. We can see this before our eyes as the United States empire reaches its inevitable end, internationally and domestically.

We can see it happening in front of our eyes if we choose to look. One of the advantages of travelling by train instead of flying is you get to see much more of the reality of a country.

The Acela Express train ride of 230 miles or so for three hours from New York City to the US capital, Washington DC, was depressing in so many ways.

The train itself was better and more comfortable than many I have travelled on in Britain, but the journey revealed a picture of severe urban decay in supposedly the world’s most important and richest nation.

You could see the wealth on the skyline represented by the skyscraper office blocks of the major cities we passed through — Philadelpia and Baltimore — but much of the rest was a picture of severe urban decay.

The industrial base of the country has been gutted. It reminded me of the train journey through the once thriving Black Country in Britain. Once a hive of industrial activity, now hollowed out with miles of left-to-rot former factories.

In the US the choice has clearly been made that the government, of any colour, prefers to spend immense amounts of money on the military as opposed to the people.

I can’t believe that the minority of the US population that actually bother to come out and vote don’t understand this. It’s no secret that the US spends by far the largest amount on the military of any country on Earth.

The US spends more on the military than China, Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Britain, Germany, France and South Korea combined.

Between them China and Russia account for only around 13 per cent of the world’s military spend. Not the vast amounts the corporate media would have you believe.

But while content to project its power abroad, the US is crumbling. One visit to the vast and imposing US embassy in London will show you just how much the US is intent on projecting its power. To the US size really does matter.

Continue reading Contrasting the US’s severe urban decay with China’s extraordinary infrastructure development

Xi Jinping meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was one of four Arab heads of state to pay a state visit to China coinciding with the 10th conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), held in Beijing on May 30.

In a round of bilateral meetings with his counterparts, Chinese President Xi Jinping met first with Sisi on May 29.

Xi noted that, 68 years ago, Egypt was the first Arab and African state to establish diplomatic relations with China. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Egypt comprehensive strategic partnership, he said, adding that over the past decade, the two heads of state have worked together to guide the vigorous development of bilateral relations.

China-Egypt relations have become a vivid illustration of China’s solidarity, coordination, and mutually beneficial win-win cooperation with Arab, African, Islamic and developing countries, Xi continued, adding that under the new circumstances, building a more enriched and dynamic China-Egypt relationship meets the common expectations of the two peoples.

China supports Egypt in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs, and stands ready to further strengthen coordination and cooperation on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS cooperation mechanism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation, and jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, as well as the common interests of developing countries.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Xi said that the current round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused heavy casualties of innocent Palestinian civilians and the humanitarian situation in Gaza is extremely grave, and China is deeply saddened. It is imperative to cease fire and stop the war immediately, avoid the spillover of conflict which will impact regional peace and stability, and prevent a more serious humanitarian crisis.

The following day, Sisi met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Hailing China and Egypt as good friends and partners of solidarity and mutual assistance for joint development, Li said that China is willing to work with Egypt to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, carry forward their traditional friendship, continuously strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and push the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to a new level.

Sisi expressed willingness to work with China to further expand cooperation in agriculture, trade, new energy, communications, and high technology under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative so as to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, and better benefit the two peoples.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Xi holds talks with Egyptian president

BEIJING, May 29 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Beijing on Wednesday.

Xi noted that, 68 years ago, Egypt was the first Arab and African state to establish diplomatic relations with China. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Egypt comprehensive strategic partnership, he said, adding that over the past decade, the two heads of state have worked together to guide the vigorous development of bilateral relations.

China-Egypt relations have become a vivid illustration of China’s solidarity, coordination, and mutually-beneficial win-win cooperation with Arab, African, Islamic and developing countries, Xi said, adding that under the new circumstances, building a more enriched and dynamic China-Egypt relationship meets the common expectations of the two peoples.

Xi said that China is ready to work with Egypt to deepen mutual trust, advance cooperation, build a China-Egypt community with a shared future in the new era, and contribute to regional and world peace, stability, development and prosperity.

Xi stressed that China is striving in all aspects to build a strong and prosperous country and achieve national rejuvenation, and China and Egypt are facing historic opportunities for exchanges and cooperation in various fields. The two sides should continue to firmly support each other and work together to promote common development, Xi added.

China is ready to work with Egypt to tap the potential of cooperation in traditional areas such as infrastructure, industry, electricity and agriculture, explore cooperation in emerging areas such as health care, information and communications, and renewable energy, deepen economic, trade and investment cooperation, and encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Egypt, Xi said.

Xi urged efforts to organize the 2024 China-Egypt year of partnership, expand personnel and cultural exchanges, and make the Luban Workshop in Egypt a benchmark for China-Africa vocational education cooperation.

China supports Egypt in playing a greater role in international and regional affairs, and stands ready to further strengthen coordination and cooperation with Egypt on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS cooperation mechanism, advocate an equal and orderly multi-polar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, and jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, as well as the common interests of developing countries, Xi said.

Continue reading Xi Jinping meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi

Joint statement of China and Arab states on the question of Palestine

The tenth ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held in Beijing on May 30. The opening session was attended by four Arab heads of state as well as by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who delivered an opening address. Ministers from China and the 22 members of the League of Arab States attended the conference.

Among the conference outcomes, the most significant was the adoption of a 21-point joint statement on the question of Palestine. Showing a high degree of unity between China and the Arab world, and among the Arab states themselves, the comprehensive joint statement calls, among other things, for the implementation of relevant United Nations resolutions, condemns Israeli aggression, calls for a sustained ceasefire, and for the implementation of the interim measures issued by the International Court of Justice in response to the legal case brought against Israel by the government of South Africa under the Genocide Convention. It supports the admission of Palestine to the United Nations as a full member state, the convening of an international peace conference, and calls for Palestinian national unity under the umbrella of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). It further calls for an end to Israel’s settlement program in occupied territories and protection of the Arab, Islamic and Christian attributes of the city of Jerusalem.  

We carry below the full text of the joint statement. It has been machine translated and sub-edited by us, including by cross checking with other unofficial translations. The full Chinese language text, as released by the Xinhua News Agency, may be read here.

Joint Statement of China and Arab States on the Question of Palestine

On May 30, 2024, the 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was held in Beijing, during which the two sides had in-depth discussions on the Palestinian issue.

The two sides believe that the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, including UN Security Council Resolution 2728, must be fully and effectively implemented, and that joint efforts should be made to promote an early ceasefire and cessation of hostilities in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible and to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian issue at an early date. The parties agreed on the following:

  1. The two sides condemn Israel’s continued aggression against the Palestinian people. More than 125,000 Palestinian civilians have been killed or injured in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children. The Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip have been forced to suffer deadly famine and blockades, cutting off all their livelihoods, systematically destroying residential areas, hospitals, schools, mosques, churches and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, and detaining and ill-treating thousands of Palestinian prisoners.
  2. The two sides condemned the invasion of the city of Rafah, the bombing of refugee camps and the control of the Rafah crossing.
  3. The two sides oppose the implementation of plans, intentions and acts of forcibly transfering the Palestinian people outside their national territory, which will destroy the opportunity for peace in the Middle East region and lead to the expansion and deterioration of the conflict in the region.
  4. The two sides call on the Security Council to issue binding resolutions to achieve an immediate, comprehensive and sustained ceasefire, to stop the forcible transfer of the Palestinian people, to ensure the delivery of relief supplies throughout Gaza, and to implement the relevant Security Council resolutions so that life in the Gaza Strip can return to normalcy. Both sides condemn the use of the veto by the United States to prevent Palestine from becoming a full Member of the United Nations.
  5. The two sides support the Interim Measures Orders issued by the International Court of Justice on 26 January, 28 March and 24 May 2024 concerning the case against Israel brought by South Africa for violating the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and hold that Israel should comply with the relevant legal provisions, in particular international humanitarian law. Both sides stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, bears responsibility for the dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza.
  6. The Arab side stresses the importance of implementing the resolutions of the Extraordinary Arab-Islamic Joint Summit held in Riyadh on 11 November 2023, including breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and enabling the immediate access of humanitarian relief supplies from Arab and Islamic countries and the international community to the entire Gaza Strip by land, sea and air. The Chinese side expressed its understanding.
  7. The two sides stress that peace, security and stability cannot be achieved in the region without an end to the occupation of the territory of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the occupied Lebanese territory. Calling upon the international community to take irreversible steps towards the independent establishment of Palestine and to achieve a political settlement based on international law and relevant international resolutions, including Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 497 (1981), 1515 (2003) and 2334 (2016), as well as all the elements of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, so as to enable the Palestinian people to fulfil their legitimate and inalienable rights. These include the right to self-determination, the right to establish an independent State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right to return and reparation for Palestinian refugees under United Nations General Assembly resolution 194 (1948). The two sides support the admission of the State of Palestine as a full Member of the United Nations and reaffirmed that the two-State solution is the only realistic way out of the Palestinian question.
  8. The two sides call for the convening of a larger-scale, more authoritative and more effective international peace conference as soon as possible, and the initiation of an authoritative peace process on the basis of recognised international principles. The above process should be carried out within a defined time frame and with international guarantees until the end of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem, along with the occupied Syrian Golan Heights and the remaining occupied Lebanese territories.
  9. The two sides support the Palestinian Government in carrying out its duties in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in accordance with recognised international principles. The Gaza Strip is an integral part of the State of Palestine. Both sides stressed their support for the relief efforts of the Palestinian Government in Gaza. The two sides reaffirmed that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and called on all Palestinian factions to unite under the PLO banner and assume their respective responsibilities in a national partnership under the leadership of the PLO.
  10. The two sides welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of resolution A/RES/ES-10/23 on 10 May 2024. The resolution affirmed that the State of Palestine was eligible to become a full Member of the United Nations and requires the Security Council to reconsider supporting Palestine’s accession to the United Nations and to grant more rights and interests to the State of Palestine.
  11. The two sides called for support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to avoid its closure. They welcomed the resumption of funding  by some countries to the Agency, and called on countries that had frozen their funding to resume their support for the Agency. They welcomed the results of the independent investigation into the work of the Agency, recognised the neutrality and professionalism of the Agency and believe that it is indispensable and irreplaceable.
  12. The two sides welcome the recent recognition of the State of Palestine by many countries, stressing that this was a driving force for achieving the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and for international and regional peace, security and stability, and called upon those countries that have not yet recognised the State of Palestine to do so as soon as possible.
  13. The Arab side appreciates China’s long-standing position on supporting the Palestinian issue and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people in bilateral and multilateral forums, and appreciates Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposals on resolving the Palestinian question, as well as a series of initiatives and propositions put forward by China on the Palestinian question. It appreciates China’s adherence to fairness and justice on the Palestinian issue and its unremitting efforts to promote the peace process. It appreciates China’s support for Palestine in improving people’s livelihood and developing the economy, providing humanitarian assistance to Palestine, and its commitment to promoting the State of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations.
  14. Both sides stressed that Israel’s unilateral measures aimed at changing the status quo in Jerusalem are invalid and support the protection of Islamic and Christian monuments in occupied Jerusalem by the Hashemite family and its role in protecting the Arab, Islamic and Christian attributes of the city and maintaining the current historical and legal status of Jerusalem and its holy sites. The two sides stressed the need to uphold the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s current historical and legal status.
  15. The two sides condemn the continued promotion by the government of Israel of the targeted settlement programme aimed at changing the existing historical and legal status of the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
  16. The Parties support the efforts of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco as Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee. They stressed the important role played by the Chairman of the Jerusalem Committee and the efforts of the Jerusalem Wealth House Agency, an institution under the Committee.
  17. The two sides support Egypt in taking all measures to respond to the impact of the aggression in the Gaza Strip and rely on Egypt’s efforts to deliver relief supplies to the Gaza Strip in an immediate and sustained manner and in sufficient quantities. The two sides expressed their support for the measures taken by Egypt to safeguard its national security, which is also a fundamental component of the security of the Arab nation.
  18. The two sides support the joint efforts of Egypt and Qatar to promote a lasting ceasefire and bring life back to normal in the Gaza Strip. Both sides support the role played by Egypt and Algeria in bringing about reconciliation among the Palestinian factions.
  19. The two sides appreciate the role played by Algeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the Palestinian issue during their tenure as non-permanent members of the Security Council, including their efforts to promote the adoption of relevant UN Security Council resolutions on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to promote the State of Palestine to become a full member of the United Nations.
  20. The two sides appreciate the appeal of the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Qatar for immediate action to help all Palestinian orphans who have lost their parents and families as a result of the aggression against Gaza. They call on all states and the international community to work together to provide the necessary medical and psychological support to orphans and amputee children within the framework of the relevant efforts of the League of Arab States.
  21. The two sides appreciate Algeria’s efforts to support the question of Palestine at the political and material levels, as well as President Tebboune’s active efforts, in particular the convening of the intra-Palestinian reconciliation conference among the various factions on 13 October 2022 and the adoption of the Algiers Declaration, which is a positive step on the road to national unity in Palestine.

Tariffs, technology and industrial policy

In the following article, well-known Marxist economist Michael Roberts assesses the latest set of protectionist measures taken by the Biden administration against China. Roberts notes that these measures include “a quadrupling of the tariff rate to 100% on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, doubling the levy on solar cells and more than tripling the fee on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries.” These tariffs constitute a doubling-down by President Biden on the measures introduced by the Trump administration in 2018-19.

The article observes that “Chinese EVs are now better and cheaper than their Western counterparts”, and this reflects China’s rapid advance in several key areas of green technology.

China has scaled up its green industries rapidly. It now produces nearly 80% of the world’s solar PV modules, 60% of wind turbines and 60% of electric vehicles and batteries. In 2023 alone, its solar-power capacity grew by more than the total installed capacity in the US.

Biden’s protectionist measures are being justified on the basis that they will stimulate domestic production of green technology in the US. However, Roberts argues that this is unlikely to be the outcome, given historical precedent. Previous tariffs on solar panels, introduced in 2012 and later expanded, did not revitalise the US solar industry. “On the contrary, the American global market share of the solar industry has considerably decreased since the original tariffs were placed — from 9% in 2010 to 2% today. Meanwhile, China’s share of the industry rose from 59% to 78%. There’s no reason to believe that the recent tariff increase will reverse this trend. There’s even less hope that they will help spur a domestic EV industry.”

The article also points to the irony of the US accusing China of violating WTO rules with its green tech subsidies, whilst simultaneously introducing a substantial package of its own green subsidies. “It seems that China’s industrial policy of subsidies is ‘gaming the system’, while US industrial policy of similar subsidies is just ‘protecting’ US industry.”

Rather than boosting domestic production, the tariffs are likely to have the opposite effect, by raising costs for US consumers and businesses and disrupting supply chains. The article notes that “Trump and Biden’s imposition of tariffs risks hindering the adoption of low-emission technologies by American businesses and consumers.”

In general, the US’s strategy of attempting to stifle China’s development will not be successful and will certainly not benefit the US economy; indeed “the cost to the US economy and the profitability of US industry will be considerable, and even more to the real incomes of Americans.” However, in a context where “the US is losing its imperialist profit extraction from trade with China and increasingly being squeezed out of world markets by Chinese goods”, there appears to be a bipartisan consensus on continuing with these last-ditch attempts at destabilising and weakening China, even if ultimately they prove to be a classic case of “lifting a rock only to drop it on one’s own feet.”

The article was originally published on Michael Roberts’ blog on 20 May 2024.

Last Tuesday, the trade and technology war launched by the US on China back in 2019 took another ratchet up. 

The US government announced a new series of protectionist measures on Chinese goods imported into the US. It included a quadrupling of the tariff rate to 100% on Chinese electric vehicle (EV) imports, doubling the levy on solar cells and more than tripling the fee on Chinese lithium-ion EV batteries.  These tariffs are equivalent to an annual $18bn of Chinese goods on top of the previous $300bn slapped down under Trump. 

The new tariffs specifically target ‘green goods’, most notably EVs, but tariffs on lithium-ion batteries, critical minerals and solar cells will also be substantially increased. The measures are set to take effect this year (with the exception of graphite, where Chinese dominance is most stark, so tariffs begin in 2026).

China is the world leader in EV production and innovation.  Chinese EVs are now better and cheaper than their Western counterparts.  Biden’s intention is to stave off Chinese competition while stimulating domestic EV supply.  But China’s EV imports are only 2% of the US market.  And all the goods that these new tariffs were slapped on constitute only about 7% of US-China trade.  What this shows is that, even the US government recognizes that the US still relies heavily on Chinese goods imports and cannot cut them all dead.

That’s because the tariff and technology war is not just about protecting the ailing US auto industry.  China is totally dominant in EV manufacture because it’s also totally dominant in battery (cell) manufacture. And it’s also totally dominant in the manufacture of the chemicals that go into those cells (cathode & anodes).  

China is also utterly dominant when it comes to the refining of the materials that then go into the chemicals that then go into the cells which go into the EVs.

Continue reading Tariffs, technology and industrial policy

Xi Jinping’s speech at the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum

The tenth conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) was held in Beijing on May 30, marking 20 years since the launch of the biannual gathering.

Representatives from the 22 member countries of the League of Arab States participated and the growing importance attached by both sides to their relationship was underscored by President Xi Jinping delivering a keynote speech in the opening session and the presence of the heads of state of Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), who combined attendance at this ministerial level gathering with state visits to China.

President Xi began his speech in personal vein, stating that, “I always find it heart-warming to meet Arab friends,” adding:

“The friendship between the Chinese and Arab peoples is deeply rooted in our friendly exchanges along the ancient Silk Road, in our joint struggles for national liberation, and in our win-win cooperation in promoting national development.”

He noted that: “As changes unseen in a century unfold rapidly across the world, both China and Arab states strive to accomplish their historical missions of national rejuvenation and faster national development. Building a China-Arab community with a shared future is a strong statement of our common desire for a new era of China-Arab relations and a better future for the world.”

The Chinese leader’s remarks served to underscore the difference between China’s approach to fellow members of the Global South compared to that displayed by the imperialist powers. He observed: “In this turbulent world, peaceful relations come from mutual respect, and lasting security is built on fairness and justice… In a world of growing diversity, more dialogue means less confrontation, and more inclusiveness means less estrangement.

“We are ready to work with the Arab side to jointly champion an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation and set a model of South-South cooperation on global governance.”

His forward looking spirit was also reflected in the key areas he highlighted for cooperation, which included not only oil and gas, but also trade and infrastructure, along with new growth areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), investment, new energy, and green innovation.

Referring to the first China-Arab States Summit, which was held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in December 2022, and having announced that the second summit will be held in China in 2026, Xi recalled that he had put forward eight major cooperation initiatives in Riyadh, adding:

“New progress has been made in scientific R&D and technology transfer. Trade and energy cooperation have scaled new heights. Small and beautiful livelihood projects are advancing in parallel with signature flagship projects. Cooperation in areas such as food security, green innovation and health is deepening and getting more substantial. Platforms for people-to-people exchanges and cooperation are functioning well.”

To further propel these positive developments, he suggested five cooperation frameworks, aimed at achieving:

  • A more dynamic framework for innovation
  • An expanded framework for investment and finance cooperation (including welcoming Arab banks to join the Cross-border Interbank Payment System, which represents an alternative to the US-controlled SWIFT system)
  • A more multifaceted framework for energy cooperation – embracing renewable energy projects
  • A more balanced framework for mutually beneficial economic and trade ties – including accelerating negotiations on bilateral and regional free trade agreements; and
  • A broader framework for people-to-people exchanges. China will invite 200 leaders of Arab political parties to visit China every year.

Naturally, no dialogue with Arab leaders, especially at the present time, could possibly fail to pay keen attention to the situation facing the embattled Palestinian people in the face of a genocidal Zionist war of aggression.

President Xi noted that, since last October, the people in Gaza had been thrown into tremendous suffering:

“War should not continue indefinitely. Justice should not be absent forever… China firmly supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. It supports Palestine’s full membership in the UN, and supports a more broad-based, authoritative and effective international peace conference.”

He further pledged another round of emergency humanitarian aid from China.

The following is the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Continue reading Xi Jinping’s speech at the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum

Webinar: China proves that a new world is possible! Delegates report back from China

Date Sunday 16 June
Time4pm Britain / 11am US Eastern / 8am US Pacific

The first exclusive Friends of Socialist China delegation to the People’s Republic of China took place from 14 to 24 April 2024. Fourteen comrades (11 from Britain, two from the US and one from Ireland) visited Beijing, Hangzhou and Jiaxing (Zhejiang province), and Changchun and Siping (Jilin province). The packed program featured visits to public service and community facilities, historic revolutionary sites and museums, political, scientific, cultural, industrial, and agricultural organisations, exhibition centres and cooperatives; as well as meetings with academics, publishers and officials.

At this webinar, we’ll hear back from the delegates about their experiences and observations of Chinese socialism.

Speakers

  • Margaret Kimberley (Editor-in-chief, Black Agenda Report)
  • Danny Haiphong (Youtuber; Author, ‘American Exceptionalism and American Innocence’)
  • Roger McKenzie (International editor, Morning Star)
  • Fiona Sim (Black Liberation Alliance)
  • Sage Stanescu (researcher and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)
  • Russel Harland (trade unionist and Friends of Socialist China Britain Committee member)

Organisers

This webinar is jointly organised by Friends of Socialist China and the International Manifesto Group.

Celso Amorim: Brazil-China relations have strategic significance

A recent visit to China by Celso Amorim, special advisor to the president of Brazil, marks a significant milestone not only in bilateral relations but also in the collective international diplomacy and independent position of the Global South.

On May 23, Amorim met China’s top foreign affairs official Wang Yi, who said that that China and Brazil are both major developing countries and emerging economies, as well as major members of BRICS, and their relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic and overall significance.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Brazil diplomatic ties, Wang said that the two countries should systematically review their successful experience over the last half century. 

He went on to observe that the world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, adding that it is heartening to see that the Global South countries represented by China and Brazil have achieved a collective rise and promoted a more balanced and reasonable structure of world power. 

China will fully support Brazil’s work as the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, adding that China also attaches importance to promoting cooperation with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and is willing to strengthen coordination with Brazil to push for greater development of relations between China and Latin American countries.

Amorim also said that Brazil-China relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic significance, adding that the sound development of Brazil-China relations is not only beneficial to the two countries, but also plays an important role in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and is conducive to world peace and stability.

He noted that that China is Brazil’s largest market, and the trade volume between the two countries is close to 200 billion US dollars and this still has great potential for further development.

Brazil and China share the same position on many major issues, he continued, and Brazil supports Latin America and China in strengthening cooperation, and is willing to closely coordinate and cooperate with China on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the G20 and BRICS to uphold multilateralism and oppose hegemonism.

Most significantly, the two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis and jointly issued the “Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

In contrast to the one-sided and unrealistic initiatives of the imperialist powers and the present Ukrainian government, China and Brazil believe that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the crisis. All parties should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and push for the de-escalation of the situation until the realisation of a comprehensive ceasefire. China and Brazil support an international peace conference held at a proper time that is recognised by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans.

They affirm that the use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons, must be opposed. All possible efforts must be made to prevent nuclear proliferation and avoid nuclear crisis. Attacks on nuclear power plants and other peaceful nuclear facilities must be opposed. All parties should comply with international law including the Convention on Nuclear Safety and resolutely prevent man-made nuclear accidents. This last point clearly refers to the repeated, dangerous and irresponsible shelling by Ukrainian armed forces of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant (ZNPP), which is presently controlled by the Russian army. 

This six-point declaration is a vivid illustration of the rise of multipolarity and of the fact that the days when a handful of oppressor nations could dictate world affairs to the exclusion of the global majority are over.

The next day, at the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s regular press conference, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that more countries are welcome to jointly play a constructive role in de-escalating the Ukraine crisis and promoting talks for peace. These six common understandings reflect not just the joint position of China and Brazil, but also the widespread concern and genuine desire of the vast international community for promoting a political settlement, he added.

“Many developing countries, including China and Brazil, have called for upholding an objective and just position on the Ukraine crisis,” he noted, adding that all of these countries believe that dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way out. The “common understandings”, though jointly initiated by China and Brazil, are meant for the world.

“We welcome more countries, developing and developed countries alike, to support and endorse these common understandings, and jointly play a constructive role in de-escalating the situation and promoting talks for peace.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Top Chinese diplomat meets special advisor to Brazilian president

BEIJING, May 23 (Xinhua) — Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, met with Celso Amorim, special advisor to the president of Brazil, in Beijing on Thursday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, said that China and Brazil are both major developing countries and emerging economies, as well as major members of BRICS, and bilateral relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic and overall significance.

Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of China-Brazil diplomatic ties, Wang said that the two sides should systematically review the successful experience of the development of bilateral relations in the past 50 years. They should take into account the changes in the international situation and the respective development strategies of both countries while making strategic plans with a forward-looking vision, so as to inject new connotations into China-Brazil relations, set new development goals, and jointly embrace the next “golden 50 years.”

Wang noted that the world today is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, with the international situation becoming chaotic and intertwined and hotspot issues emerging one after another.

It is heartening to see that the “Global South” countries represented by China and Brazil have achieved a collective rise and promoted a more balanced and reasonable structure of world power, he said.

China will fully support Brazil’s work as the rotating presidency of the G20 this year, and stands ready to work with Brazil and other G20 members to ensure the success of the G20 Rio Summit, said Wang, noting that China attaches importance to promoting cooperation with the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and is willing to strengthen coordination with Brazil to push for greater development of relations between China and Latin American countries.

Noting that Brazil-China relations go beyond the bilateral scope and have strategic significance, Amorim said that the sound development of Brazil-China relations is not only beneficial to the two countries, but also plays an important role in safeguarding the common interests of developing countries and is conducive to world peace and stability.

Amorim said that Brazil attaches great importance to cooperation with China, adding that China is Brazil’s largest market, and the trade volume between the two countries is close to 200 billion U.S. dollars, which still has great potential for development.

Amorim said that Brazil is ready to communicate closely with China, plan cooperation in various fields, expand the scale of trade and investment, expand new fields such as artificial intelligence and the digital economy, and constantly enrich the connotation of Brazil-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

Noting that Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva attaches great importance to poverty eradication, and China has made remarkable achievements in this regard, Amorim said the two sides can strengthen exchanges and cooperation.

Amorim said that Brazil and China share the same position on many major issues. Brazil supports Latin America and China in strengthening cooperation, and is willing to closely coordinate and cooperate with China on multilateral platforms such as the United Nations, the G20 and BRICS to uphold multilateralism and oppose hegemonism.

The two sides exchanged in-depth views on the Ukraine crisis and jointly issued the “Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.” The two sides agreed that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable way out of the crisis, and all parties should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue.

The two sides also expressed their support for an international peace conference recognized by Russia and Ukraine at an appropriate time, with the equal participation of all parties, and fair discussion of all peace proposals.

Members of the international community are welcome to support and endorse the common understandings, jointly provide a strong voice to cool the situation, and play a constructive role in promoting peace talks, said the document.


Continue reading Celso Amorim: Brazil-China relations have strategic significance

Kanak people resist French colonial rule in New Caledonia

In this interesting article for Struggle La Lucha, Sharon Black details the recent uprising of the Kanak people in New Caledonia, a French colony in the South Pacific. The immediate trigger for the uprising was a vote by France’s National Assembly on a constitutional amendment that will introduce significant new hurdles on the path towards New Caledonia’s independence; however the underlying cause is longstanding: “the deep economic divide between the wealthy French population and the Kanak people and the unsolved and bitter question of sovereignty and independence for New Caledonia.”

Sharon notes that, in response to the pro-independence rebellion, “France has deployed an additional thousand troops to its overseas territory of New Caledonia, joining the 1,700 police and military personnel already present. The French gendarmes have meant the death of seven and the arrests of hundreds following a declaration of a state of emergency and the imposition of a curfew.”

Aside from the direct economic importance of New Caledonia – which as the article points out produces one-third of the world’s nickel and holds around 11 percent of the world’s total nickel reserves – the struggle of the Kanak people for independence also has geopolitical significance, given that the archipelago is located “in Australia’s backyard, patrolled by the US military, and in the crosshairs of Western capitalist machinations against China’s Belt and Road initiative.”

French opposition to independence has explicitly been framed in terms of the need to prevent China from gaining a foothold in the region. Visiting the capital Nouméa in 2022, French President Emmanuel Macron warned that independence from France would essentially mean handing sovereignty over to China. “If independence means choosing tomorrow to have a Chinese [naval] base here or to be dependent on other fleets, good luck!”

Sharon further cites right-wing French politician Xavier Bertrand as saying that New Caledonia “either stays French or it will become Chinese.”

In other words, the French ruling class is hoping to hold on to their South Pacific colonies as part of the US-led strategy to encircle China. The Kanak people’s struggle for independence is therefore not only a struggle against French colonialism, but is connected to the broader global struggle against imperialism and for a multipolar world.

In response to a popular uprising led by pro-independence Indigenous Kanak youth, France has deployed an additional thousand troops to its overseas territory of New Caledonia, joining the 1,700 police and military personnel already present. The French gendarmes have meant the death of seven and the arrests of hundreds following a declaration of a state of emergency and the imposition of a curfew.

Roadblocks have shut down key arteries to Nouméa, the capital city, and the airport. Australian and New Zealand tourists have hunkered down, and French settlers in wealthy areas in Nouméa have brandished weapons to protect businesses.

The rebellion has followed weeks of major demonstrations and growing frustrations fed by the French parliament’s arrogant passage of a constitutional amendment that would further liquidate the voting power of the country’s Indigenous population and stall independence. 

While the French bourgeoisie may temporarily solve the immediate crisis by force — which remains to be seen — it is a pyrrhic victory. 

Crushing the rebellion will not solve the root cause fueling anger: the deep economic divide between the wealthy French population and the Kanak people and the unsolved and bitter question of sovereignty and independence for New Caledonia. 

At the time of this writing, May 23, French President Emmanuel Macron and Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu have landed in New Caledonia, and some limited flights have taken out tourists. Macron said he would delay the implementation of the anti-Kanak constitutional amendment (a delay is only temporary) while snarling that French troops would remain “as long as necessary.”

What’s at stake is how long France’s occupation forces remain in the archipelago. 

Continue reading Kanak people resist French colonial rule in New Caledonia

Chinese FM holds talks with Tanzanian counterpart

The long-standing friendship between China and Tanzania was reaffirmed with a recent visit to Beijing by Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, January Yusuf Makamba.

On May 17, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed Makamba’s visit to China on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He said that China-Tanzania relations had always been at the forefront of China-Africa relations over the past six decades, which set a good example for developing countries to seek strength through solidarity and mutual assistance.

He added that China appreciated Tanzania’s long-term valuable support on issues concerning China’s core interests and was willing to continue to firmly support Tanzania in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and in independently exploring a development path suited to its national conditions.

Wang went on to say that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is the most important platform and mechanism for strengthening solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa. A new FOCAC summit will be held in Beijing this autumn. China sincerely invites Tanzania to join in this event together with other African countries and make a greater contribution to the building of an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

Noting that Tanzania and China enjoy profound traditional friendship, Makamba said that the two countries had always trusted and supported each other since the establishment of diplomatic ties 60 years ago. Upholding the one-China policy is the cornerstone of Tanzania’s relations with China and Tanzania will continue to unswervingly support China on issues concerning its core interests and major concerns.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

BEIJING, May 17 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with January Yusuf Makamba, Tanzania’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, in Beijing on Friday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, welcomed Makamba’s visit to China on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. He said that China-Tanzania relations had always been at the forefront of China-Africa relations over the past 60 years, which set a good example for developing countries to seek strength through solidarity and mutual assistance.

China is willing to deepen political mutual trust, strengthen strategic alignment, expand practical cooperation and inject new connotation of the era into the China-Tanzania comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership guided by the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, Wang said.

He said that China appreciated Tanzania’s long-term valuable support on issues concerning China’s core interests, and was willing to continue to firmly support Tanzania in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and independently exploring a development path suited to its national conditions.

The two sides should expand cooperation in key areas such as trade and infrastructure, and tap potential for cooperation in processing and manufacturing, digital economy, blue economy and new energy, Wang added.

Wang said that the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is the most important platform and mechanism for strengthening solidarity and cooperation between China and Africa. A new FOCAC summit will be held in Beijing this autumn. China sincerely invites Tanzania to join in this event together with other African countries and make greater contribution to the building of an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.

Noting that Tanzania and China enjoy profound traditional friendship, Makamba said that the two countries had always trusted and supported each other since the establishment of diplomatic ties 60 years ago. Upholding the one-China policy is the cornerstone of Tanzania’s relations with China, and Tanzania will continue to unswervingly support China on issues concerning China’s core interests and major concerns.

Tanzania looks forward to enhancing exchanges of experience on governance, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and working closely with China on international and regional issues. Tanzania will actively participate in this year’s FOCAC summit and believes that the summit will achieve greater success, he said.

The two sides also exchanged in-depth views on international and regional issues of common concern.

People, not profit, are at the centre of decision-making in China

We are pleased to republish below three short articles connected with the April 2024 Friends of Socialist China delegation to China, two written by Margaret Kimberley for Black Agenda Report, and one by Graham Harrington for Socialist Voice.

Margaret’s articles – written from China – contrast a confident, forward-looking socialist China with a decadent neoliberal United States. She writes: “The maturity and intelligence of the Chinese state are obvious to anyone who is a serious observer. The recklessness and amateurish nature of the US is also clear to anyone who pays attention.” Domestically, “China feeds its large population, launches satellites, expands a network of high-speed rail, and positions itself as a world leader while the US only knows how to obstruct and steal.” In terms of foreign policy, Margaret compares the US’s reckless devotion to the military-industrial complex with China’s commitment to peace and development. For example, while the US has just committed a further 61 billion dollars to its ill-fated proxy war in Ukraine, “China has offered its services in an effort to end the bloodshed ever since the proxy war began but it has been rebuffed at every turn.”

Margaret encourages people to reject the relentless lies and propaganda about China and instead to see it with their own eyes. “The same system which tries to convince its people that they have no alternative, that there exists nothing else in the world for them to contemplate, vilifies China and any nation which dares to be a good example.”

Graham Harrington’s article, meanwhile, focuses on the delegation’s field trips, including to the Beijing HQ of the 12345 hotline, the Zhejiang Red Boat, the Jiaxing Party-Masses Service Centre and the Siping Battle Memorial Hall. Countering the Western narrative of China as an environmental bad actor, Graham writes: “In all areas, especially Beijing, one could seen the fruits of what the CPC calls ‘Beautiful China’ in the green trees which are almost on every street. Far from the myth of a polluting superpower, China is leading the way in renewable energy. In Jilin province, delegates were told how the province had just developed a hydrogen-powered train, the very first in the world.”

Graham also describes the role of Marxism in Chinese society: “China, the CPC and Chinese people, take Marxism seriously, in the education system, in the state, as well as in public life. People are at the centre of decision-making, not profit. China puts the ‘social’ into socialism with its collective nature, encouraged at all levels.”

We will be hosting a report-back webinar for the delegation on Sunday 16 June. More information will be available soon.

Lessons from China

April 17 (Black Agenda Report) — Socialist China is a powerful economic and diplomatic rival to the United States. Its success must be studied so that liberation may be possible and to prevent the declining U.S. from doing even more damage to humanity. 

On a daily basis the corporate media, members of Congress, and courtier pundits who refuse to do a basic internet search, make reference to the non-existent Chinese Communist Party and to a non-existent abbreviation, CCP. There has been a Communist Party of China (CPC) for more than 100 years. The repetition of easily provable misinformation is just one indication of the degree of manufactured hostility towards the People’s Republic of China and of the extraordinarily high levels of ignorance manufactured by the state in the U.S.

This columnist is currently participating in a delegation organized by Friends of Socialist China at the invitation of the China NGO Network of International Exchanges (CNIE) . In the short time that the delegation has been in Beijing, the maturity and intelligence of the Chinese state are obvious to anyone who is a serious observer. The recklessness and amateurish nature of the U.S. is also clear to anyone who pays attention.

While Congress joins with greedy corporate interests to steal TikTok under the false claim that the platform is under the control of the mythical CCP, Joe Biden calls President Xi Jinping to tell him not to work with Russia, its ally, and sends Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request that China end its economic success with complaints about “over capacity” while the misnomer CCP is in regular use.

The Friends of Socialist China delegation has thus far met with CNIE officers, and visited the Red Building at Beijing University which showcases the history of that institution’s role in the development of the CPC, while also engaging with a publishing house seeking international works for its catalog. The most serious subject for discussion is socialism, its history in China, and the means to develop it around the world.

It is both eye-opening and sobering to leave the United States and visit nations in which socialists have attained state power. Especially in this moment, as a presidential election approaches, we are once again reminded that the U.S. political system will permit no requests for change. The most minimal proposals are rejected outright, while the people’s money is used to continue the failed Ukraine project and to support Israel’s ethnic cleansing campaign in Gaza. The precarity experienced by millions of people is explained away as a figment of their collective imagination or the result of their own stupidity.

Socialism is a necessity as the U.S. faces crises of its own making. Ocean temperatures rise because of continued capitalist fossil fuel production, wages stagnate, and the cost of food and housing continue to rise as corporations price gouge the public. Imperialism continues endangering the world as the U.S. has created a region-wide catastrophe in the Middle East.

Continue reading People, not profit, are at the centre of decision-making in China

China’s modernisation is a historic contribution to the global socialist project

What follows is a presentation by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez for a webinar on China’s modernisation organised by the International Department of the Communist Party USA.

Carlos discusses the meaning and importance of modernisation, going on to describe China’s process of modernising over the course of 75 years and its proposal for “basically realising socialist modernisation by 2035”.

Carlos continues by describing the modernisation process in the advanced capitalist countries – in particular its reliance on colonialism, domination, hegemony, slavery and plunder – and compares that with China’s modernisation trajectory. While China doesn’t have the ‘advantage’ of dominating other countries, it does have the advantage of a socialist system which “enables us to pool resources in a major mission”, as Xi Jinping has put it. China’s modernisation will therefore differ enormously from Western modernisation in that it will not be based on hegemony; it will be a modernisation of common prosperity; and it will be sustainable – the modernisation of harmony between humanity and nature.

The presentation concludes:

China’s modernisation will be a historic contribution to the global socialist project, to the struggle against imperialism, and to humanity’s shared goal of a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable future.

The other presentations submitted to the webinar (by members of the CPUSA and the Communist Party of Australia) can be found on the CPUSA International Department’s Youtube channel: @idcpusa

Today’s webinar is all about modernisation, which is something that’s talked about a great deal in China today, but which is not a concept that’s discussed very much in the West.

Is it something that’s worth talking about? Is it something that’s worth pursuing?

For China and for other developing countries, what modernisation means is higher living standards for the masses of the people.

Modernised industry, greater productivity, modern communication methods, transport systems, energy systems, healthcare strategies and so on add up to the possibility of providing a healthy, meaningful and dignified life to every human being.

That means every single person having reliable access to nutritious food, to good quality housing, guaranteed education and healthcare, modern energy, clean water, and to a vibrant cultural, social, intellectual and working life. So when we talk about modernisation, we’re essentially talking about attending to people’s basic human rights.

It’s called modernisation because it involves leveraging developments in science and technology; it means adapting to the latest, the most advanced ideas and techniques for meeting humanity’s material and cultural needs.

We can broadly think of it as transitioning from ‘developing country’ status to ‘developed country’ status; from a predominantly rural society to a predominantly urban society; from a technologically backward society to a technologically advanced society.

Continue reading China’s modernisation is a historic contribution to the global socialist project

Nepali Prime Minister: Nepal will continue to strengthen cooperation with China

China has moved to further develop its friendly relations with Nepal, particularly with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) (CPNMC), which currently leads the country’s ruling coalition.

On April 27, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also known as Prachanda and who is the leader of the CPNMC, said in his capital Kathmandu that Nepal will unswervingly support China on issues concerning her core interests and looks forward to continuing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields. He was meeting with Luo Zhaohui, head of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, who was leading a delegation to the country.

With the exchange of high-level visits and the implementation of bilateral agreements between the two countries, Nepal-China relations have been elevated to a new height, stated the prime minister.

He said that the Nepali side sincerely thanks China for its support and assistance in Nepal’s economic and social development, poverty reduction and anti-epidemic efforts.

Prachanda voiced hope that the two sides will further strengthen cooperation in the fields of infrastructure connectivity, tourism, healthcare, education, agriculture and water conservancy, promote high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

For his part, Luo noted that China and Nepal are good neighbours connected by mountains and rivers, good partners in mutually beneficial cooperation and good friends helping each other.

He added that the proposal of building a China-Nepal trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional connectivity network in particular charts a strategic direction for the sustainable development of bilateral relations.

Earlier, on April 18, Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee (IDCPC), met with a delegation of senior cadres of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) led by Dev Prasad Gurung, General Secretary of the party.

Liu said that the Chinese side supports the Nepali side in exploring a development path that suits its national conditions and is willing to help Nepal prosper and develop. The CPC attaches great importance to its friendly relations with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre). Under the new situation, it is willing to expand exchanges between the two parties, deepen exchanges and mutual learning of experience in state governance and administration, and promote practical cooperation between the two sides in agriculture, investment, infrastructure, border trade and tourism.

Gurung said, the Nepali side thanks the Chinese side for its long-term support and assistance in safeguarding national sovereignty and independence and achieving economic and social development and hopes to work with the Chinese side to jointly promote Belt and Road cooperation, as well as enhance the level of connectivity between the two countries.

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and on the website of the IDCPC.

Nepali PM voices firm support for China in safeguarding core interests

KATHMANDU, April 27 (Xinhua) — Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said on Friday that Nepal will unswervingly support China on issues concerning China’s core interests and looks forward to continuing to strengthen cooperation with China in various fields.

Dahal, also known as Prachanda, made the remarks while meeting in Kathmandu with Luo Zhaohui, head of the China International Development Cooperation Agency.

With the exchange of high-level visits and the implementation of bilateral agreements between the two countries, Nepal-China relations have been elevated to a new height, stated the prime minister.

He said that the Nepali side sincerely thanks China for its support and assistance in Nepal’s economic and social development, poverty reduction and anti-epidemic efforts.

Dahal voiced hope that the two sides will further strengthen cooperation in the fields of infrastructure connectivity, tourism, healthcare, education, agriculture and water conservancy, promote high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement the Global Development Initiative.

For his part, Luo noted that China and Nepal are good neighbors connected by mountains and rivers, good partners in mutually beneficial cooperation and good friends helping each other.

Luo said the proposal of building a China-Nepal trans-Himalayan multi-dimensional connectivity network in particular charts a strategic direction for the sustainable development of bilateral relations.

He suggested that both sides should implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen the alignment of strategic plans, deepen practical cooperation and push bilateral relations to a new level.

During his stay in Nepal, Luo also met respectively with Sher Bahadur Deuba, president of the Nepali Congress party and former prime minister, K.P. Sharma Oli, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and former prime minister, and held talks with Nepal’s Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun and signed related cooperation documents.

Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Chen Song was present at the meetings.


Liu Jianchao Meets with a Delegation of Senior Cadres of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center)

BEIJING, April 18 (IDCPC) — Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee (IDCPC), met here today with a delegation of senior cadres of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) led by Dev Prasad Gurung, General Secretary of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center).

Liu said, in recent years, under the joint leadership of President Xi Jinping and Nepali leaders, relations between the two countries have continued to develop. The Chinese side supports the Nepali side in exploring a development path that suits its national conditions, and is willing to help Nepal prosper and develop. The CPC attaches great importance to its friendly relations with the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center). Under the new situation, it is willing to expand exchanges between the two Parties, deepen exchanges and mutual learning of experience in state governance and administration, and promote practical cooperation between the two sides in agriculture, investment, infrastructure, border trade and tourism through “political party +” and other channels, so as to push China-Nepal relations to a new level.  

Gurung said, the Nepali side thanks the Chinese side for the long-term support and assistance in safeguarding national sovereignty and independence and achieving economic and social development, and hopes to work with the Chinese side to jointly promote Belt and Road cooperation, as well as enhance the level of connectivity between the two countries. The Nepali side firmly adheres to the one-China principle and does not allow any force to use Nepal’s territory for anti-China activities. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center) highly admires the CPC’s governance achievements and governance concepts, and is willing to further strengthen exchanges between the two Parties, deepen theoretical exchanges, promote Nepal-China relations for healthy development, and promote regional peace, development and stability.  

Sun Haiyan, Vice-minister of the IDCPC, was present.

Why so many young Asian-Americans stand with Palestine

In the following article, which we reprint from Yes! Media, Cathi Choi reports how during this year’s Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, which is celebrated in the United States each May, students across the country are shutting down college campuses as part of a growing mass movement in support of a free Palestine.

She notes that, according to a November 2023 GenForward survey, younger Asian Americans are the demographic group most likely to sympathise with Palestinians and to believe that the United States is too supportive of Israel. The legacy of US wars waged throughout Asia has historically shaped generations of solidarity-building between Asian Americans and all peoples facing the brunt of US militarism. And as the US continues to fund Israel, militarise the Pacific, and exacerbate tensions with China, young Asian Americans have a particular role to play in challenging the ever-growing US war machine. 

In a recent interview, Ji Hye Choi, a young organiser with Marianas for Palestine, shared that as a Korean woman born and raised on the US territory of Guam, her ancestral legacy and upbringing have shown her how communities across time and space have organised to resist colonisation, capitalist-driven militarism and US forever wars. 

She said sceptics dismiss her because of her young age, but she is nevertheless determined to stand in solidarity with Palestinians based on a shared understanding of “the global fight for resistance and liberation.”

Cathi describes Ji Hye as “continuing a tradition that I have been proud to be a part of through my own work mobilising hundreds of intergenerational activists across the country to end the Korean War.

“While the term ‘Asian American’ has been rightfully critiqued, the origins of Asian America are rooted in an internationalist, anti-war ethos. As Karen Ishizuka describes in ‘Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties’, [published by Verso], it was ‘no accident’ that Asian America was born during the peak of organising against the Vietnam War, when Asian Americans highlighted the connection between racism and militarism in Vietnam – a perspective they felt the mainstream anti-war movement ignored.

“Past Asian American organisers also applied a class lens to their organising, demanding divestment from militarism and reinvestment in working-class communities at home. This class-based analysis is even more critical today as Asian Americans have the largest income gap of any racial group.”

She also cites the pioneering work of the Combahee River Collective, a “radical black feminist, socialist, anti-imperialist collective of women.” 

According to Cathi, “With zero accountability, the US military continues its costly ramp-up for a war against China as it prepares for the Rim of Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC)… carried out in the Pacific biennially in coordination with 25 other countries (including Israel, South Korea, and the Philippines).

“In April, Biden also approved a controversial bill after it was passed by Congress, reauthorising the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).  A coalition of leading Asian American organiations opposed this renewal because FISA has been used to ‘justify mass spying, racial profiling, and discrimination of innocent people,’ with harsh consequences for both Asian Americans and pro-Palestinian protestors.”

Cathi Choi is the director of policy and organising for Women Cross DMZ, and co-coordinator of Korea Peace Now! Grassroots Network. 

Yes! Media describes itself as a nonprofit, independent publisher of solutions journalism.

As we mark Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, students across the country are shutting down college campuses and spurring mass movement for a free Palestine. 

Younger generations are significantly more pro-Palestine than their elders, and according to a November 2023 GenForward survey, younger Asian Americans are the demographic group most likely to sympathize with Palestinians and to believe that the United States is too supportive of Israel. The legacy of U.S. wars waged throughout Asia has historically shaped generations of solidarity-building between Asian Americans and all peoples facing the brunt of U.S. militarism. And as the U.S. continues to fund Israelmilitarize the Pacific, and exacerbate tensions with China, young Asian Americans have a particular role to play in challenging the ever-growing U.S. war machine. 

In a recent interview, Ji Hye Choi, a young organizer with Mariånas for Palestine, shared that as a Korean woman born and raised on the U.S. territory of Guam, her ancestral legacy and upbringing have shown her how communities across time and space have organized to resist colonizationcapitalist-driven militarism, and U.S. forever wars.

Ji Hye said skeptics dismiss her because of her young age, but she is nevertheless determined to stand in solidarity with Palestinians based on a shared understanding of “the global fight for resistance and liberation.” As I listened, I was deeply struck by her clarity and deep sense of purpose, both tied to her ancestral inheritance. 

Through her work to build solidarity with Palestinians, Ji Hye is one of many young Asian Americans working to resist U.S. militarism and war. She is continuing a tradition that I have been proud to be a part of through my own work mobilizing hundreds of intergenerational activists across the country to end the Korean War.

While the term “Asian American” has been rightfully critiqued, the origins of Asian America are rooted in an internationalist, anti-war ethos. As Karen Ishizuka describes in Serve the People: Making Asian America in the Long Sixties, it was “no accident” that Asian America was born during the peak of organizing against the Vietnam War, when Asian Americans highlighted the connection between racism and militarism in Vietnam—a perspective they felt the mainstream anti-war movement ignored. U.S. militarism and imperialism continue to fuel anti-Asian violence today.

Past Asian American organizers also applied a class lens to their organizing, demanding divestment from militarism and reinvestment in working-class communities at home. This class-based analysis is even more critical today as Asian Americans have the largest income gap of any racial group. Much of this economic disparity can be tied to the legacies of U.S. wars and militarism in Asian Americans’ countries of origin.

We stand on our predecessors’ tall shoulders and those of preeminent feminists like Margo Okazawa-Rey, a founding member of International Network of Women Against Militarism and the historic Combahee River Collective, a “radical black feminist, socialist, anti-imperialist collective of women.” As a “transnational feminist, U.S.-based African-American and Japanese woman,” Okazawa-Rey has long led movements in challenging militarism and radically rethinking possibilities for intersectional activism in the Asia Pacific and beyond.

Like Okazawa-Rey, our predecessors applied intersectional lenses to their activism. We must learn from them as we advocate for long-term change in all arenas of policymaking by building out a “robust ecosystem” of movements and community power, as urged by veteran movement leaders Ahmad Abuznaid of U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Deepa Iyer of Building Movement Project, and Darakshan Raja of Muslims for Just Futures.

In particular, we must wrest power out of the hands of war profiteers and weapons manufacturers and reclaim the halls of legislative power from corporate interests. U.S. military spending has reached new heights; in April, Biden signed into law a $95 billion military spending package after it was approved by Congress, with $26 billion allotted to Israel and $8 billion to the Asia Pacific. As the U.S. continues to fund Israel, it also expands its military presence in the Asia Pacific in preparation for a potential war with China. 

More than half of U.S. national discretionary spending already goes toward the Pentagon, which has failed every single audit ever mandated by Congress, leaving billions unaccounted for. With zero accountability, the U.S. military continues its costly ramp-up for a war against China as it prepares for the Rim of Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC)—highly destructive war drills carried out in the Pacific biennially in coordination with 25 other countries (including Israel, South Korea, and the Philippines). While RIMPAC rages on, U.S. communities lack affordable health carehousing, and education, and are underprepared to deal with the devastating effects of the climate crisis.  

In April, Biden also approved a controversial bill after it was passed by Congress, reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). A coalition of leading Asian American organizations opposed this renewal because FISA has been used to “justify mass spying, racial profiling, and discrimination of innocent people,” with harsh consequences for both Asian Americans and pro-Palestinian protestors

We must continue learning from our collective pasts as we organize during this increasingly precarious time. Our elders have taught us that an identity grouping is only as meaningful as its capacity to be transformative for all peoples. Okazawa-Rey has explained that the Combahee River Collective’s “identity politics” were not exclusionary, but about galvanizing collective power to organize against all systems of oppression. 

If we are to continue making meaning out of “Asian America” this AAPI Heritage Month, we must root ourselves in intersectional principles, draw threads across global and local struggles, and forge new paths toward a world free from U.S. militarism and forever wars.

Roosevelt Skerrit: China-Dominica relations have become a model of south-south cooperation

Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, visited China from March 23-29. During his visit he gave an interview to Wang Guan for the CGTN series Leaders Talk. 

Skerrit, who has visited China 12 times in the 20 years since the two countries established diplomatic relations shortly after he became Prime Minister, describes the country as a true and reliable friend in difficult times.

His meeting with President Xi Jinping had been the highlight of his current visit. They had reached a consensus on bilateral and multilateral issues, especially the need to take stronger measures to tackle the threats posed by climate change and to build stronger resilience in this regard. 

Skerrit acclaims the Chinese leader’s work for global peace and prosperity, in a way that will allow every country to prosper. China’s example in this regard should be emulated by the developed countries.

The Dominican Prime Minister agreed with President Xi’s observation that China-Dominica relations have become a model of south-south cooperation. He noted that although Dominica is a very small country, Xi always treats him as an equal. 

Dominica fully supports the one China principle, which it regards as a tenet of international law, and will support and play its part in the peaceful reunification of China. 

Expanding on China’s friendship in difficult times, Skerrit said that whenever Dominica faces difficulties, China comes to its aid without even having to be asked. As a small Caribbean island country, Dominica is highly susceptible to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Erika in 2015 and Hurricane Maria in 2017, which destroyed or damaged some 90% of buildings on the island, and climate change is truly an existential threat for small island states in particular, whether in the Caribbean or the South Pacific. Dominica is seeking to harness its own resources, such as geothermal and hydro, with the aim to achieve 100% renewable energy usage by 2030.

China had played a major role in reconstruction following the hurricanes, for example, completing the reconstruction of the West Coast Road, which links the capital Roseau with the second city of Portsmouth, in 2020, despite the challenges posed by COVID. Other key aid projects of China are the Dominica-China Friendship Hospital along with the building of six schools. The Friendship Hospital is described by Skerrit as the most modern one to be found in the Caribbean and he singles out its cardiology unit as a key example of a facility that ensures that Dominicans can now receive specialist treatment without needing to travel abroad.

In agricultural technology, China is helping Dominica to contribute to regional food security through the development of seedlings that are more resilient to pests and to the vagaries of the climate.

As for his impressions of the changes in China that he has been able to witness in 12 visits over two decades, Skerrit simply describes them as magical, citing in particular achievements in technology, infrastructure, education and the promotion of common prosperity.

Skerrit also commends China’s promotion of dialogue in dealing with international issues as well as its rejection of unilateral sanctions, especially the United States’ unfair and unjust sanctions on Cuba. He rejects the misconceptions harboured by the United States and some European powers regarding China’s engagement with the countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This engagement is focused on economic development and social advancement and China’s support and cooperation come with no conditions. Loans extended to the Caribbean and Latin America by China have the lowest interest rates, sometimes being fixed at zero.

The full interview with Prime Minister Skerrit is embedded below.

Keith Bennett: Understanding Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

The Brighton Morning Star Readers and Supporters organised a meeting on the theme, China and the Struggle for Peace on March 24.

The invited speakers were our co-editors Carlos Martinez and Keith Bennett.

In his presentation, Carlos explained the thinking behind China’s foreign policy, showing how it is based on the principles of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and explained how this approach is rooted in China’s history and ideology, and is consistent with the country’s overall strategic goals. 

The text of Carlos’s presentation can be read here.  

Following this, Keith presented a broad overview of China’s socialist development, contextualising it in the overall history of the exercise of state power by the working class and its allies and the original road taken by the Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong, which represents a major contribution to the theory and practice of revolution. 

He prefaced his contribution by noting that the Morning Star carries the words, “For Peace and Socialism” on its masthead every day, highlighting the fact that the struggles for peace and for socialism are inextricably intertwined. 

A lively discussion and Q&A followed the presentations, which was continued informally in one of Brighton’s excellent local pubs.

We reprint below the text of Keith’s remarks.

The Communist Manifesto, the foundational text of scientific socialism, is still considerably short of 200 years old.

The working class and its allies have now held state power, and engaged in a serious project of socialist nation building, somewhere continuously for just under 107 years.

The Chinese working class, together with the peasantry and representatives of all patriotic sections of Chinese society, have held state power for just coming up to 75 years, with some two decades of running revolutionary base areas before that.

Since the October Revolution of 1917, serious attempts, with varying degrees of success, have been made to establish and build socialism in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Africa.

Therefore, on the one hand we can say that humanity has acquired a certain degree of experience and lessons, both positive and negative, regarding the struggle to establish and build socialism.

But more fundamentally, we can say that, in the long course of human history, socialism remains a very new and fledgling system.

This is not to say that there is nothing to learn and draw from. Xi Jinping’s point that socialism with Chinese characteristics offers a new reference point and option for those countries that wish to rapidly develop their economies while maintaining their independence acquires ever greater validity practically with each passing day.

And communists everywhere still draw on the historical experience of the USSR, its monumental achievements, as well as its mistakes, that contributed to its ultimate demise, as well as the experience of every historical and contemporary attempt to build socialism.

But despite the fact that we do not start from a completely blank page, the most fundamental lesson we can draw so far from the historical and ongoing attempts to build socialism, I would argue, is that there is no ready-made blueprint or master plan, no straight road, and certainly no ‘one size fits all’ formula that can be downloaded and implemented at any time and in any place.

Moreover, for most of their political lives (arguably less so towards the end) Marx and Engels envisaged socialism replacing highly developed and advanced capitalism.

So far, this has not happened anywhere.

One could of course argue, like some ultra leftists and dogmatists, that this somehow invalidates the whole experience of actually existing socialism.

Or one can appreciate that this conditions the context in which countries and peoples move towards socialism, that every country will approach socialism in its own way, and that, not least, the character and duration of the transition period may vary enormously.

What’s highly relevant to those countries in which socialism has actually triumphed, theorised by Lenin as ‘breaking the chain at its weakest link’, is the fact that attempts to build socialism have all occurred in a world that is still largely dominated by capitalism and imperialism.

Moreover, every preceding class that rose to political power did so in the wake of and in the context of their rising economic power. In the case of the proletariat, it is almost the exact opposite.

All this helps explain why Stalin, in his Foundations of Leninism, explains that, even after it has taken power, for a time, the proletariat remains weaker than the bourgeoisie.

This is some of the context in which we must start to look at the trajectory of the Chinese revolution.

Although China has the world’s longest continuous civilisation and was the world’s biggest economy for most of the last two millennia, since the British launched the first Opium War in 1839, the country was reduced to a semi-colonial, semi-feudal society. Not for nothing is the ensuing period known by the Chinese as the ‘century of humiliation’, marked by unequal treaties, foreign aggression, most devastatingly that by Japan in the 1930s and 1940s, and by wars of aggression and resistance, civil wars and ultimately a victorious revolution.

Whether when the Communist Party of China was founded in 1921, or the People’s Republic of China was proclaimed in 1949, China was one of the poorest and most wretched societies on earth. Illiteracy was as high as life expectancy was low.

So, how did the Chinese revolution succeed?

Continue reading Keith Bennett: Understanding Socialism with Chinese Characteristics

China: Israel must immediately cease its military operation in Rafah

China has demanded that Israel immediately cease its military offensive in Gaza’s Rafah city.

Speaking at the United Nations on May 20, Fu Cong, China’s Permanent Representative to the world body, told the Security Council that, “facing strong opposition from the international community, Israel is still pushing ahead with its large-scale offensive on Rafah, once again driving hundreds of thousands of Gazans into displacement. 

“Nothing can justify the perpetuation of conflict. The collective punishment of civilians does not create conditions conducive to the rescue of hostages. Israel must immediately cease its military operation in Rafah.”

The current humanitarian disaster in Gaza is inconceivable, Fu added. The occupation of the Rafah border crossing has seriously hindered access to humanitarian aid and humanitarian workers and UN personnel are confronted with multiple obstacles and even risks to their lives, which is unacceptable,

Clearly alluding to such cynical gimmicks as the US ‘floating pier’ and dangerous and ineffective air drops, Fu said that land routes are crucial for humanitarian delivery and have no substitute, further noting that Israel should effectively comply with its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law by immediately opening up all land crossings and ensuring the supply of food, medicine, fuel, and other necessities. Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, the Chinese envoy affirmed, adding that any proposal on post-war governance of Gaza should respect the will of the Palestinian people

May 15 marked the 76th anniversary of the Nakba, the massive exodus of Palestinians that occurred in 1948 following the establishment of the state of Israel. For decades, generations of Palestinians have made arduous struggles for their legitimate rights, he added.

Meanwhile, on May 22, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, responding to the news that Ireland, Spain and Norway were officially recognising the State of Palestine, said that “China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, supports the two-State solution and is one of the first countries to recognise the State of Palestine.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese envoy says Israel must cease Rafah offensive

UNITED NATIONS, May 20 (Xinhua) — A Chinese envoy said Monday that Israel must immediately cease its military offensive in Rafah city in the Gaza Strip.

Facing strong opposition from the international community, Israel is still pushing ahead with its large-scale offensive on Rafah, once again driving hundreds of thousands of Gazans into displacement, said Fu Cong, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, expressing China’s grave concern about and strong opposition to the operation.

“Nothing can justify the perpetuation of conflict. The collective punishment of civilians does not create conditions conducive to the rescue of hostages. Israel must immediately cease its military operation in Rafah,” he told the UN Security Council.

China supports further Security Council actions to ensure the implementation of its Resolution 2728, which demands a humanitarian cease-fire, Fu said, adding China also hopes that the United States, as the country with major influence on Israel, can uphold impartiality and effectively facilitate a cease-fire and cessation of hostilities.

The current humanitarian disaster in Gaza is inconceivable. The occupation of the Rafah border crossing has seriously hindered access to humanitarian aid, as humanitarian supplies from Jordan to Gaza have been blocked and sabotaged, and humanitarian workers and UN personnel are confronted with multiple obstacles and even risks to their lives, which is unacceptable, said Fu.

Land routes are crucial for humanitarian delivery and have no substitute, he said, noting Israel should effectively comply with its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law by immediately opening up all land crossings and ensuring the supply of food, medicine, fuel, and other necessities.

Noting the two-state solution is the only viable way to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli issue, Fu said China supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine and its early admission as a full member of the United Nations.

Gaza is an inalienable part of Palestine, the Chinese envoy said, adding any proposal on post-war governance of Gaza should respect the will of the Palestinian people, should respect the legitimate concerns of the countries in the region, and should not deviate from the general direction of the two-state solution.

May 15 marked the 76th anniversary of Nakba, the massive exodus of Palestinians that occurred in 1948 following the establishment of the state of Israel, Fu noted. For decades, generations of Palestinians have made arduous struggles for their legitimate rights, he added.

China will continue to work tirelessly together with the international community to promote an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, alleviate the humanitarian disaster, and implement the two-state solution, so that Nakba will forever be the past, and Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace, and the Middle East can enjoy lasting peace and stability, Fu said.


China firmly supports Palestinian people restoring their legitimate national rights

BEIJING, May 22 (Xinhua) — China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, and will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role in promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Wednesday.

Wang made the remarks at a daily press briefing in response to the news that Spain and Ireland said they are going to recognize the Palestinian State.

China always firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, supports the two-State solution and is one of the first countries to recognize the State of Palestine. China’s stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is consistent, Wang noted.

“We believe the immediate priority is to implement UNSC Resolution 2728, realize ceasefire at once, end the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in Gaza and return to the right track of seeking a political settlement of the Palestinian question on the basis of the two-State solution as soon as possible,” Wang said.

China will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role in ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as early as possible and promoting a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question, the spokesperson added.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ meeting promotes regional cooperation

A meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, on May 20-21.

The meeting was preparatory to the Astana SCO Summit, which is scheduled to be held on July 3-4. 

Presiding over the meeting, Murat Nurtleu, Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, welcomed participants and called for a moment of silence to honour Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian, and others who died in the helicopter crash on May 19.

The meeting agreed to enhance cooperation in ensuring regional security and combating terrorism, extremism, separatism, drug trafficking, and cybercrime, among other areas. A special focus was placed on the organisation’s growth, with Belarus expected to complete all necessary procedures for admission to full membership at the July summit.

Addressing the ministers, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed his deep condolences to the people and leadership of Iran following the tragic death of President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian. He also acknowledged the participation of Iranian representatives despite their nation’s difficult time and welcomed Belarus to its first Foreign Ministers’ Council in Astana.

Amid global strategic uncertainty, Tokayev stressed the importance of an integrated approach that considers all parties’ interests and the constant search for compromises. He voiced his belief that the time has come to collectively promote the ideals and values of peaceful and harmonious development for the sake of all humanity.

Addressing the situation in Afghanistan, he stressed the need to prevent a humanitarian crisis and create conditions for long-term stabilisation. He reiterated the importance of Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish the United Nations’ Regional Centre for Sustainable Development Goals for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty.

In his speech to the meeting, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that SCO member countries have been important partners for China in high-level opening-up and high-quality development.

Valuing the SCO’s role, Wang said the Shanghai Spirit, which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilisations and pursuit of common development, has become the fundamental principle of the SCO’s continuous growth and a banner for promoting new types of international relations.

He put forward four suggestions during the meeting: to maintain strategic autonomy and strengthen unity and cooperation; to share security responsibilities and lift cooperation to higher levels; to pursue inclusive and win-win cooperation and empower joint development; and to embrace openness and inclusiveness and deepen exchanges and mutual learning.

China is willing to work with SCO partners to actively advocate for a multipolar world with equality and order and inclusive economic globalisation, and to promote the building of a community with a shared future for humanity, he added.

In a meeting with the Kazakh President on May 20, Tokayev asked Wang to convey his sincere greetings to President Xi Jinping, noting that China’s international status continues to rise and its role in the world is increasingly significant. The country is making greater contributions to global peace and stability, and the international community is paying more attention to China’s voice. He looked forward to the Chinese President’s state visit in July. 

He also highly evaluated Kazakh-Chinese relations within the framework of international organisations, including the United Nations (UN), Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

“Kazakhstan has been and remains a reliable partner of China. We are doing everything possible to implement the agreements that were reached earlier. We are working together and advancing our relationship into the future,” he added.

Wang responded that China would continue to firmly support Kazakhstan in safeguarding its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, support President Tokayev’s series of development strategies and important measures, and resolutely oppose any external forces interfering in Kazakhstan’s internal affairs.

During the country’s historical process of building a New Kazakhstan, China is willing to be a reliable and long-term partner, supporting the diversification of Kazakhstan’s economic development and promoting cooperation in emerging industries such as e-commerce, new energy and artificial intelligence.

The same day, Wang Yi met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu, with the two men jointly meeting the press following their talks.

Wang said that, as Kazakhstan recently suffered from severe floods, China is willing to continue providing as much help as possible to assist in the reconstruction work.

He further noted that both sides spoke highly of the fruitful outcomes of their cooperation. According to Chinese statistics, bilateral trade reached 41 billion US dollars last year, achieving the target set by the two heads of state seven years ahead of schedule. To date, 26 out of the 45 capacity cooperation projects have been completed, in such sectors as mining and metals, energy resources, machinery manufacturing, building materials, chemicals and infrastructure construction. Cooperation in oil and gas and in nuclear energy is also accelerating.

Both sides praised the success of the China-Central Asia Summit in Xi’an, held in May 2023, which has ushered in a new phase of enhanced cooperation between China and Central Asia.

The Chinese side is eager to work alongside the Central Asian nations to strengthen and optimise the China-Central Asia cooperation mechanism, aiming to build a stable, prosperous, harmonious, and interconnected Central Asia, thereby injecting strong vitality into the building of a China-Central Asia community of shared future, Wang said.

Both sides will work to advance the Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, and Global Civilisation Initiative, unequivocally oppose unilateralism and hegemonic behaviours, and promote the development of global governance towards a more just and reasonable direction.

Continue reading Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Foreign Ministers’ meeting promotes regional cooperation

Xi Jinping: China and Arab countries witnessing mutual trust and vibrant practical cooperation

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that the Arab countries are playing an increasingly important role in strengthening solidarity and cooperation for the Global South and in upholding their common interests.

His statement came in a congratulatory message to King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the rotating chairperson of the Council of Heads of the League of Arab States, on the convening of the 33rd Arab League Summit in Bahrain. He also said that China is ready to work with Arab countries to build a China-Arab community with a shared future at a higher level.

Xi stressed that the current China-Arab ties are in the best period in history. He said that in December 2022, he attended the first China-Arab States Summit with leaders of Arab states in Saudi Arabia, drew up a comprehensive blueprint for the development of China-Arab relations, and agreed to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era.

At the end of May, the 10th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will be held in Beijing, Xi noted, expressing his hope that the two sides will take the meeting as an opportunity to further deepen cooperation in various fields, so as to better benefit the two peoples.

The following article was originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

China is ready to work with Arab countries to build a China-Arab community with a shared future at a higher level, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday.

Xi made the remarks in a congratulatory message to King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the rotating chairperson of the Council of Heads of the League of Arab States, over the convening of the 33rd Arab League Summit in Bahrain.

Xi noted that the Arab League has long been committed to pushing for unity and self strengthening in the Arab world, and promoting peace, stability and development in the Middle East.

In recent years, facing changes in the world, the times and history, Arab countries have adhered to independence, promoted development and revitalization, upheld fairness and justice, and safeguarded regional peace and stability, Xi said, adding that Arab countries are playing an increasingly important role in strengthening solidarity and cooperation for the “Global South” and in upholding their common interests.

Xi stressed that the current China-Arab ties are in the best period in history. He said that in December 2022, he attended the first China-Arab States Summit with leaders of Arab states, drew up a comprehensive blueprint for the development of China-Arab relations, and agreed to make all-out efforts to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era.

For more than a year, China and Arab countries have witnessed deepening political mutual trust, vibrant practical cooperation, as well as rich cultural and people-to-people exchanges, Xi said, adding that their cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful outcomes.

Looking to the future, China is ready to work with Arab countries to continue carrying forward the spirit of the China-Arab friendship, build a China-Arab community with a shared future at a higher level, and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said.

At the end of this month, the 10th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will be held in Beijing, Xi said, expressing his hope that the two sides will take the 10th ministerial meeting as an opportunity to further deepen cooperation in various fields, so as to better benefit the two peoples.

Fruitful visit to Northern Ireland by Ambassador Zheng Zeguang

Chinese Ambassador to the United Kingdom Zheng Zeguang paid the second visit of his tenure to Northern Ireland at the beginning of May, meeting with First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly on May 1. 

O’Neill is a leading member of Sinn Féin and the first nationalist and republican to serve as First Minister. Emma Little-Pengelly belongs to Northern Ireland’s second largest party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). 

According to the Chinese Embassy in London, the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on further developing the friendship and cooperation between China and Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Zheng congratulated the two major political parties in Northern Ireland on successfully forming a new Northern Ireland Executive and introduced China’s economic and social development.

China’s economy grew by 5.2% last year and expanded by 5.3% in the first quarter of this year. Facts show that the fundamentals of China’s economy stay unchanged and will not change in the future. This will continue to provide more opportunities for practical cooperation in various fields between China and Northern Ireland.

He noted that local cooperation is an important foundation for state-to-state relations. China appreciates Northern Ireland’s long-standing commitment to exchanges and cooperation with China. Collaboration between the two sides in fields such as business, trade, education, culture, and tourism have yielded fruitful outcomes.

Northern Ireland enjoys excellent natural conditions and great potentials for development. China encourages Chinese businesses, students, and tourists to invest, study, and travel in Northern Ireland and welcomes more Northern Ireland investment, quality products and students in China.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly welcomed Ambassador Zheng on his second visit to Northern Ireland. They said that the Northern Ireland government attaches importance to developing its relationship with China.

In recent years, Northern Ireland and China had close cooperation in business, trade, education, agriculture, and tourism, bringing tangible benefits to both sides. Northern Ireland welcomes more Chinese investments, supports broader education collaboration between universities in Northern Ireland and China, welcomes Chinese students and tourists to study and vacation in Northern Ireland, and hopes to strengthen personnel exchanges and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

The same day, Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended and addressed the first China-UK/Northern Ireland Education Cooperation Forum held at Ulster University in Belfast at invitation and delivered a keynote speech titled “Openness and cooperation is the right way forward.”

Over the 75 years since the founding of New China, he said, great accomplishments have been achieved in education. China has put in place the world’s largest education system, with more than 510,000 education institutions of different types at all levels, 293 million university, secondary and primary school students, and more than 18.8 million full-time teachers. The popularity of China’s basic education at different stages has reached or exceeded the OECD [a grouping of mostly developed countries] average and China is now upgrading its higher education to achieve greater quality. Education advancement has in turn accelerated technological innovation. By the end of 2023, China owned close to five million valid invention patents, ranking first in the world.

In recent years, however, there have been constant noises from some politicians in the West, using “national security” as an excuse to push for “decoupling” of economies, severing of industrial and supply chains, and creation of “small yards with high fences”, while pointing fingers at China and obstructing exchanges and collaboration. This must be firmly rejected. Facts have and will continue to prove that China-UK educational collaboration is mutually beneficial and has broad prospects.

Dr Colin Davidson, Chancellor of Ulster University, said that his university is proud of its extensive collaboration with universities such as Hubei Normal University and the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. It is committed to building a sustainable future for the world and will continue to work with its Chinese partners to deepen cooperation in culture, education and scientific research towards shared goals.

The following articles were originally published on the website of the Chinese Embassy in London.

Ambassador Zheng Zeguang meets with First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly of Northern Ireland

May 3 (Chinese Embassy in the UK) — On 1 May 2024, during his visit to Northern Ireland, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang met with  First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly of Northern Ireland.

The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on further developing the friendship and cooperation between China and Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Zheng congratulated the two major political parties in Northern Ireland on successfully forming a new  Northern Ireland Executive, and introduced China’s economic and social development.

Ambassador Zheng said that China,  committed to modernisation through a Chinese path, is striving for high-quality development, faster growth of new quality productive forces, greater domestic demand, and opening up at a higher level.

China’s economy grew by 5.2% last year and expanded by 5.3% in the first quarter of this year. Facts show that the fundamentals of China’s economy stay unchanged and will not change in the future. This will continue to provide more opportunities for practical cooperation in various fields between China and Northern Ireland.

Ambassador Zheng noted that local cooperation is an important foundation for state-to-state relations. China appreciates Northern Ireland’s long-standing commitment to exchanges and cooperation with China. Collaboration between the two sides in fields such as business, trade, education, culture, and tourism have yielded fruitful outcomes.

Northern Ireland enjoys excellent natural conditions and great potentials for development. China encourages Chinese businesses, students, and tourists to invest, study, and travel in Northern Ireland and welcomes more Northern Ireland investment, quality products and students in China.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill and Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly  welcomed Ambassador Zheng on his second visit to Northern Ireland.  They said that the Northern Ireland government attaches importance to developing its relationship with China.

In recent years, Northern Ireland and China had close cooperation in business, trade, education, agriculture, and tourism, bringing tangible benefits to both sides. Northern Ireland welcomes more Chinese investments, supports broader  education collaboration between universities in Northern Ireland and China, welcomes Chinese students and tourists to study and vacation in Northern Ireland, and hopes to strengthen personnel exchanges and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with China.

They wish the China-UK/Northern Ireland Education Cooperation Forum to be held on the day full success.

The meeting was also attended by Chinese Consul General in Belfast Zhang Meifang, and Counsellor for Political Affairs Kong Xiangwen.


Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended the first China-UK/Northern Ireland Education Cooperation Forum and delivered a keynote speech

May 4 (Chinese Embassy in the UK) — On 1 May 2024, H.E. Ambassador Zheng Zeguang attended and addressed the first China-UK/Northern Ireland Education Cooperation Forum held at Ulster University in Belfast at invitation and delivered a keynote speech titled “Openness and cooperation is the right way forward”. 

Ambassador Zheng commended Ulster University for itsstrong sense of openness and fully recognised its fruitful cooperation with Hubei Normal University, the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts and other Chinese institutions.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out thatitis China’s long-standing tradition to value education and respect teachers, and that education has always been a priority for the Chinese government. Over the 75 years since the founding of New China, great accomplishments have been achievedon education. China has put in place the world’s largest education system, with more than 510,000 education institutions of different types at all levels, 293 million university, secondary and primary school students, and more than 18.8 million full-time teachers. The popularity of China’s basic education at different stages has reached or exceeded the OECD average, and China is now upgrading its higher education to greater quality. Education advancement has in turn accelerated technological innovation. By the end of 2023, China owned close to 5 million valid invention patents, ranking first in the world. China’s total input in R&D and investment in the high-tech sector has been growing at double-digit rates for several years running. China now has around 400,000 high-tech enterprises and ranks second globally in the number of unicorn companies.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out that China is taking concrete steps to promote high-quality development and accelerate the creation of new-quality productive forces. In this process, China is further prioritising education, science and technology, and talent cultivation. China remains committed to openness and international exchanges in education. China has carried out educational exchanges with more than 180 countries, signed agreements on mutual recognition of qualifications and academic degrees with 58 countries and regions. 85 countries have incorporated Chinese language teaching into their national education curricula, and more than 30 million people outside of China are studying the language.

Ambassador Zheng pointed out that the world today is undergoing deep transformation and increasing volatility, humanity is facing multiple common challenges, and a new round of industrial and technological revolution is unfolding at pace. Now more than ever, countries need to enhance education cooperation, work together to cultivate more talent with a global vision, and find solutions to common challenges. In recent years, however, there have been constant noises against it from some politicians in the West, using “national security” as an excuse to push for “decoupling” of economies, severing of industrial and supply chains, and creation of small yards with high fences, while pointing fingers at China and obstructing exchanges and collaboration. This must be firmly rejected. Facts have and will continue to prove that China-UK educational collaboration is mutually beneficial and has broad prospects. China is committed to a steady and mutually beneficial China-UK relationship on the basis of mutual respect and equality. It is hoped that people from all walks of life in both countries will not be swayed by noises or disturbed by obstructions, and will continue to promote mutual learning and mutually beneficial collaboration between the two countries. The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in the UK will, as always, provide support and facilitation for UK’s educational exchanges and collaboration with China.

Dr Colin Davidson, Chancellor of Ulster University, said that Ulster is proud of its extensive collaboration with universities such as Hubei Normal University and the National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts. It is committed to building a sustainable future for the world and will continue to work with its Chinese partners to deepen cooperation in culture, education and scientific research towards shared goals.

Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Mr Edwin Poots, Consul General of China in Belfast Ms Zhang Meifang, and President of Hubei Normal University Professor Lei Rujin also delivered remarks. The event was attended by around 200 people, including Deputy Lieutenant of the County Borough of Belfast Professor Alastair Adair, and Minister Counsellor for EducationMs Zhang Jin,Minister Counsellor for Press and Public Affairs Mr Bi Haibo, and Political CounsellorMr Kong Xiangwen at the Chinese Embassy, as well as representatives from cities and counties and headteachers from primary and secondary schools in Northern Ireland. Chinese and British students presentedfantastic cultural and artistic programmes with ethnic characteristics.

During the Forum, Ambassador Zheng and Chancellor Davidson witnessed the signing of an agreement between Hubei Normal University and Ulster University to establish a Centre for Education, Culture and Language Exchange andjointly unveiled the plagued of the Centre.